The “REvolutionaries: The Steve Sawyer Memorial Award” recognises the contributions of young pioneers of renewable energy in developing countries, in honour of the life’s work of Steve Sawyer. Winners work in the frontiers of the renewable energy revolution in their respective countries, in the public sector, private sector or civil society. 

They have the potential to become the energy leaders of tomorrow.

Award Pillars

The “REvolutionaries” award is centred around three main pillars which reflect the values and mission of Steve Sawyer.

The “REvolutionaries” award has a different regional focus for each annual program cycle, reflecting Steve Sawyer’s global footprint and lasting impact on the worldwide renewable energy community. In 2020, the programme will award a recipient whose work targets a country or countries in Africa.


Emerging markets in Africa, South East Asia and Latin America

Guiding Principles

Leadership, renewable energy, innovation, scalability and diversity


Young leaders at the frontiers of the renewable energy revolution


Winners will receive a comprehensive prize package emphasising investment, study and thought leadership.



Thought Leadership

Who can apply?

In 2020, the program will focus on renewable energy leaders in Africa, working in the public sector, private sector or civil society. Applicants must work in, or their work must target, one or several countries in Africa (countries in Africa to be defined by membership of the African Union).

Application requirements include: 

  • 5+ years of professional experience;

  • A track record of leadership and achievement in professional career; and

  • Professional working proficiency in English (written and spoken).

Applicants must also demonstrate the Guiding Principles of the programme:


A track record of self-starting and professional leadership positions.

Renewable Energy

Advancing deployment of wind and renewable energy via policy campaigns, science or modelling, technology implementation, financing mechanisms or otherwise.


Activities reflect innovation in thinking, design, technology or methodology, encouraging progress beyond the status quo.


Leading scalable activities, with the potential to expand to other communities and create larger impacts.


Candidates’ work reflects or factors in diversity (gender, ethnicity, marginalised community, or other) in its approach, impact or otherwise.

Applications for the 2020 edition of the award are now closed.
The launch of the 2021 edition is scheduled for Q1 2021. Please check the website for further details at that time.

Selection Process

Eligible applications will be reviewed by a Jury composed of individuals with deep insight into Steve’s personal and professional values. They collectively represent members of Steve’s family, GWEC, REN21 and Greenpeace.

Applications are judged on a point-based system, with up to 5 points awarded for each of the five Guiding Principles, for a potential total of 25 points. Applicants are also required to submit a short personal statement on their use of prize funds, which will be considered in the context of the entire application package, and will not be allocated points.

Following verification of references, a shortlist of finalists undergoes another round of judging on a point-based system. In the event of a tie, the Jury will determine the winner upon deliberation.


22 April 2020 - 5 July 2020

Application period

22 April 2020 - 5 July 2020

July-August 2020

Adjudication period

July-August 2020

August 2020

Winner notified

August 2020

September 2020

Winner announced

September 2020

November 2020

Award ceremony at industry event in South Africa

November 2020

Founding Partners


Scroll to Top